Skip to main content

About this Show





San Francisco, CA, USA

Comcast Cable

Virtual Ch. 110 (CSPAN3)






United States 14, Berlin 9, Europe 8, Truman 6, China 5, Joseph Stalin 5, Us 5, Stalin 4, Greece 4, Nato 4, Harry Truman 4, Dr. Seuss 3, Western Europe 3, West Berlin 3, South America 3, Soviet Union 3, Turkey 2, U.s. 2, Nsc 2, Eastern Europe 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    [untitled]  

    May 13, 2012
    9:00 - 9:30pm EDT  

he is starting to define what he wants in terms of sfeers of influence. no negotiation on this. here's the big three again. if you notice anything different, it's franklin roosevelt. he doesn't look well. some said if roosevelt was not well, he wasn't at his best, but they will agree to some demands. part of it is maintaining the philosophy of trying to cooperate with this guy.
i want to cooperate. part of it was some claim part of the reason that they gave in and he is not at the best. he's not. six weeks later, a little over six weeks later, roosevelt is dead. we talked about this on tuesday. roosevelt is dead. the president who carried us through and the depression and the new deal almost all the way through the war is gone. that brings a change. missouri's own becomes president of the united states. very interesting circumstances. we are just about to wrap up the war in europe and island hopping the way to japan.
yet there all kind of potholes along the way. we have to defeat germany and finish off japan and how we do that and when we do that. the consequences of what we are doing is the rest of this story. truman will meet with stalin and churchill in germany after hitler is defeated. it's a new big three with harry truman being the president. truman's attitude is different. some indication of that change of u.s. policy comes right away.
even harry truman was not kept informed. it was like okay, a few things you need to know. one is we have been working on a bomb. you know what? it's the biggest baddest bomb around. truman gets the word that it works. we have detonated an atomic bomb. it works. he goes over to stalin. lit her has been defeated and we want to cooperate with you, but i need to let you in on a secret. the secret is we are going to end this war with japan because we have an atomic weapon the likes of which the world has never seen.
they were kept in the dark, but stalin already knew. we have soviet spies in the united states. they passed information along that we were working on it and close to it. he knew we were very close to having a successful nuclear weapon. well, what truman is going to do then is to give the japanese an opportunity to surrender when they don't. we talked about this and dropped two. first on hiroshima august sixth when there was no surrender. we dropped the second on august 9th and eventual low the japanese surrendered. i mentioned to you, the primary reason why truman dropped it was
to save american lives. the estimates of americans, what was the casualty if we were going to invade as high as a million american casualties. exactly. that was the primary reason. today i will give you a secondary reason. it's possible that he decided to drop the bomb not just to save lives, but to signal a shift and to send stalin a completely different message about the role of the u.s. and the relationship with the soviet union. we are going drop the bomb to send you a signal that there is a new sheriff in town. roosevelt is dead and cooperation is dead. harry truman will have a completely different foreign policy objective. the so-called expert on all
things soviet and all things sallin. george probably knew more about the history and the current status than anybody else. he came to truman with a couple of themes, if you will. he said first, there can never be permanent or lasting peace. we are simply two different countries. don't even try. roosevelt tried and he was saying we are simply too different. the second thing was that stalin is determined to undermine and
overthrow free and democratic countries around the world. if you thought hitler was determined to take over the world, joseph stalin is. he will use every opportunity he can to spread communist around the world. therefore, what he was saying was a change in foreign policy. he will recommend the united states not cooperate, but we need to contain. this is a mattic shift. containment. if stalin is trying to inility rate this area, we must be there and stop them and thwart them and contain their expansion. this is what she advising. the days of cooperation are gone. the days of containment are here. this is going to mean that the united states is going have a
dramatic shift that largely lasts up to this day where we are going to become the big brother to the world and the days of isolationism are gone. how does containment play itself out? 1947 is a big year for the cold war. harry truman will start to describe what containment actually means. there is trouble in greece and turkey. afterworld war 2, both greece and turkey are struggling financially and politically. there is rebel yonlions.
this is exactly what he was talking about. there is insurrection and people rioting in the street. is it possible that the soviet union is infiltrated in greece and turkey trying to overthrow countries? this is what we have been warned about. that's not the case, but it fit with the suspicions of stalin and the soviet union. we will send $400 million worth of aid to prop them up and defend themselves against this insurge yensy. named after george marshall. 13 billion as it turns out, $13
billion of assistance to rebuild western europe. they are in weakened state. as long as they are in weakened state, they are susceptible to foreign influence. communist influence. when people are at the bottom rung, they are willing to listen to everywhere who offers a bit of hope. the best way to hold back is with a healthy rebuilt europe. $13 billion. to old back soviet expansion. congress passes the national security act. this is an amazing piece of legislation and has lots of facets to it and creates a national agency to revamp the
military and coordinate the branches of the military, but what i want to talk about is if t created the cia. that stands for the central intelligence agency. if joseph stalen is.up on under mining free and democratic countries, how are we going to know that unless we have people in countries around the world? we will send out folks who are going out to gather intelligence. i'm not talking about james bond. we are going to be sending out individuals working for the government, eyes and ears. what's going on in this country? are they susceptible to influence? of course it if we think that the soviet union will overthrow free and democratic countries, those guys may not have an opportunity to undermine a weak and vacillating communist state as well.
we may not just gather intelligence, but park rebel yon on our own behalf if we see stalin asleep at the wheel. in 1947, we signed the rio pact. it sounds like a song, but it's a military alliance between most of the countries of central and south america and the united states. it's a defensive alliance. an attack upon one is an attack upon all. big brother, the united states will come to their aid in rescue. we have always been the protectors from the days back in the monroe doctrine, the 1800s. now we codified that and say we come to the aid and assistance of countries in central and south america. this is a lot of stuff in just one year. this is containment. stop for a second and put yourself in joseph stalin's
chews. the united states has gotten involved in greece and turkey. the mediterranean. the united states has gotten involved in rebuilding western europe. the united states is sending out guys around the world and now we have signed on to the military alliance in central and south america. if you are joseph stalin, who is the great threat? who is trying to take over the world? it's the united states. if you paranoid and suspicious, it's the united states. so if you are joseph stalin, you have to respond. the cold war is like a tennis match. it goes from one court to the other. they do something and we respond and they respond. here is stalin's response. he is going to tighten up
control over countries in eastern europe. hungary and czechoslovakia i mentioned because those were two countries that were supposed to have free elections. well, the free elections go out the window. by 1948. the communists have a purge of leadership and the two countries will be puppet regimes of the soviet union and then berlin. it gets complicated now. during world war ii, they are driving and getting into berlin before we do and occupy much of eastern germany with their army and forces. berlin is a very important city in german history and culture and government and politics.
it is going to be a divided city here in the cold war era. we are going have the eastern part of berlin controlled by the soviet union and the western part will be dwighted into different sectors. the french, the british, the american sectors. it's a divided city in a divided country. i know this is a foreign concept and my generation makes perfect sense. i grew up understanding there was an east and a west germany and an east and a west berlin until 1989, 1990. you guys were not even born. this is difficult for to you comprehend. back in the end of the world war ii, the soviet red army moved into and controlled much of east germany and surrounded berlin. the americans, the british and the french are going to have a
presence there because we have to wind up the war and we have to have negotiations and have to have a demille tearization and have a presence in berlin. as a response to containment and as a response to everything truman was doing, what joseph stalin did was drive us out in the summer of 1948. what he is go going to do is cutoff all ground access into and out of west berlin. up until this point, you could freely and easily move from one sector to the other much of a problem or an issue. you show proper identification, you can cross from the american sector to the soviet seccor or back and forth. in june of 1948, stalin puts a stop to that. we are not building a wall yet. that comes later. what stalin will do is to put up
a perimeter that separates east from west and around the exterior of west berlin. he is holding west berliners prisoners. nothing is coming in or going out. he is try stog starve west berlin, meaning the americans, british and the french to get the countries out so that he has complete control over the city. it's a blockade of west berlin. is he going to allow our interest and allies and interests in west merlin to be eliminated because stalin has the ability to close us off by land? no. truman is going to respond with almost an entire year of airlift and goods and supplies. food, fuel, anything that the
people needed will be flown in to that part of the city. i love the map simply because it shows you that in each of the three sectors, each has an airport. so we can fly in cargo planes into each sector, loaded with food, medicine, supplies, wal-mart gift cards and aa batteries. whatever they need, they will have access to. truman knows they won't shoot down the plane. if you think about the geography, they will have to fly from maybe a base in great britain and the channel and across friendly airspace in western europe and fly over eastern germany before they can get into west berlin.
truman said they won't be shot down. nothing they can do about us airlifting the goods and supplies in. he won't shoot down the planes. why not? if a war starts, we have the bomb and they don't. truman has a tough stance. he is talking tough. we have the bomb and you don't. our experts had told truman it would probably be at least five or ten or maybe even more than that years down the road before the soviet union would have the ability to successfully detonate an atomic bomb. we can fly all the planes in and help the people fly over soviet-controlled airspace and they won't be shot down. we have the bomb and they don't. eventually the airlift is over in may of 1949.
stalin was trying to drag it out and see if our resolve would weaken. it didn't. we have planes taking off and landing 24-7. it's a battle of wills and we won out. when it's said and done, berlin is going to be a divided city. we are going to string up barbed wire and a wall will be built. >> is it like 24-hours? >> he will have forces along the interior separating east and west as well as simply move them in since west merlin is in east germany, there will be forces that you can move in and blockade the roads and waterways.
what does nato stand for? north atlantic treaty organization. if we are going to have a military alliance, nato is sort of in a military alliance with western europe. an attack upon a country of nato will bring the united states involvement. you don't want that. we had the bomb and you don't. the cold war is back and forth and back and forth. we do something, they do something. well, here's the soviet response to the creation of nato and the
airlift. experts informed trueman of five years, ten years or more before the soviet union would have the atomic bomb. no. in early september, an american spy plane picks up evidence of a successful nuclear blast. it's not us. the blast actually occurred at the end of august. truman is informed in early september. this changes everything. we have the bomb and they don't. the soviet union detonated an
atomic bomb. bite end of 1949, we have a stalemate in europe. the united states is propping up western europe economically and militarily. the soviet union is propping up eastern europe and both countries are suspicious of each other and both have the atomic bomb. we are an awful lot alike and we don't want to push that much mother with both countries possessing nuclear weapons. so what happens then when we have this stalemate in europe, it mean that is the cold war will spread into a different area and we are headed into asia now. who is this fellow? chairman mao.
>> i lived down the street from this and it's a big street in cambodia and i live a block away from it. isn't that cool? >> how many years ago was that? when you lived there. >> december. a year ago. >> really? recent. here's the situation in china. after the war is over, there is a civil war that engulfs china. between the forces, the nationalists and the communists. a civil war. long story short, by the end of 1949, mao and the communists drive the nationalists out over to the island of taiwan and
china falls to communist. this is not a good couple of months for harry trueman. if you stop and think about it, they have success flee detonated an atomic bottom and the most populous state in the world has fallen to communism. it's not a good fall. the largest territorial state in the world has an atomic and the most populous state in the world has fallen to communism. in our mines, they are linked and in early 1950, the chinese and the soviets sign a treaty of mutual assistance. a communist is a communist is a communist. what we know today is chinese and soviet communism, there differences. in 1949, 1950, this is panic
starting to envelope in the united states. we have stopped the spread of communism in europe, but look what happened in other parts of the world. we have to respond, some way, somehow. this is containment. instead of containing in europe, we have to contain it in another part of the world. what do we do? we simply refuse to recognize the legitimacy of moo. they will not have a diplomatic relationship with china. we will continue to recognize the chinese government as the legitimate government of china. that doesn't hurt them much. but we have to find a way to stop or contain communism in this part of the world and need a new best friend. one of the strange ironies is the nation that we have just
nuked into the flintstone era is our new best friend. by 1950, we will start rebuilding japan so they can help us stop the spread of chinese communism in this part of the world. then finally, there is a document. it is known as nsc 68. a national council report listed as nsc 68. it will outline what the united states should do as we turn into the 1950 no, sir dealing with communism. three things. first it said we shouldn't try to contain it anymore. we need to go to war and have victory and not just try to contain it. be victorious over it. second, in order to do that, we will have to have a huge
increase in our defense budget. let's throw numbers up there. our defense budget goes from $13 billion in 1950 up to $50 billion just three years later. i don't know what percent of increase that is, but it's big. we are building up not only the conventional weapons, but more planes and more ships and artillery, but we are also going to build up a new one. or it's called the hydrogen bomb. we have to because they have the atomic bomb. if they have the atomic bomb. we need a badder bomb. we are going to be developing the hydrogen bomb. we are starting at arm's race with the soviet union.
>> we are going to start it lately. >> fair question. i think they are looking for who will offer them economic assistance and help them rebuild? they are always wary of the chinese and wary of the soviet union and the united states is reaching out and offering an olive branch and a lot of assistance. we will take it. an arms race is say by product of the cold war. you have this weapon and we have to have another weapon. all of which brings us to dr. seuss. you all read dr. seuss growing up. anybody read the butter battle book? it's about the cold war. i'm not talking about the book and the abc book and all the classics. dr. seuss wrote a book about the